One hour for online order delivery soon, conference told

Amazon and eBay will automatically place orders for customers in future, event hears

A Retail Ireland conference has heard that consumers will soon have to wait no longer than an hour for online purchases to arrive on their doorstep. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Retail Ireland conference has heard that consumers will soon have to wait no longer than an hour for online purchases to arrive on their doorstep. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

Consumers will soon have to wait no longer than an hour for online purchases to arrive on their doorstep, a major retail conference in Dublin heard yesterday.

Within a decade Amazon and eBay will automatically place grocery orders for registered shoppers based on data culled from previous deliveries and people will be able to “make” Nike trainers using 3D printers, according to the retail prophets and futurologists who took to the stage at the Guinness Storehouse as part of the second Retail Ireland conference.

Attendees heard intelligent computers will soon be prowling supermarket aisles searching for ways to enhance the customer experience, while “wearable skin” and “clothes miles” could be as much a part of the next generation’s shopping experience as self-service checkout and loyalty cards are for today’s consumers.

Retail prophet

Doug Stephens

He told delegates that $1.5 trillion was spent online last year, an increase of 23 per cent year-on-year growth.

“At that rate, it won’t take very long before 30 or 35 per cent of everything we buy will be online,” he said.

He accepted that “virtual reality looks clunky now” but stressed that advances already made will soon allow people to don headsets and place themselves in designer shops where they will be able to hold and feel – albeit virtually – products they are considering buying.

The mass availability of 3D printers will allow everything from trainers to food to be printed on demand at home.

And technology will also start shopping on people’s behalf. Amazon has applied for a patent on predictive analytics technology to allow it to order and deliver products to a person’s door before they realise they need them.

This week it announced the rollout of Amazon Fresh in Britain and with each delivery it makes – particularly in the fresh food arena – it will put together “more robust data streams” on consumer’s shopping habits, Mr Stephens said.

“The real competition is not your existing competitors, the real competition is the challenges you have never heard of . . .”he added.